February 12, 2016 Subject:
Candidate for longest show - over 6 hours with breaks. 4:36 of music. As a result the set list is huge and there's a couple hours of great stuff peppered throughout, though the first set's mostly a wash, ranging from D- to A-. The second set is over two hours. The third is with Dickey Betts and Butch Trucks of the Allmans (and Merl Saunders, though, if so, his slider was down on the board and he's not heard on these tapes).
This was a two-day, one-off stadium gig and the only East Coast appearance until the next tour (must have been a generous promoter). It was the first show after the beloved Kezar. The second day is usually considered better (but, again, some assume the longest shows/songs must be the best). It also has the only performance of It Takes a Lot to Laugh/Train To Cry until '91 so it's automatically the best show ever, brah! Actually, there are fireworks in between stinkers (maybe the heat index was 100). It's more of an historical show than one with consistently great playing, but a must-hear once - a ticklister like Watkins, Woodstock and Egypt.
First Set. Dew is an interesting opener on paper but it's a tinkly, understated version - almost muzak. Beat it on Down the Line-4 is a bit rough and Ramble On Rose almost trainwrecks. Jer's playing is off and out of tune. Jack Straw is understated, sparse-sounding, with misfires and sloppy playing. Wave That Flag is better and the last one before it came back next year, rewritten. Looks Like Rain = eek. Trainwreck city with Jer resorting to single-note vamping. Phil's not bad on Box of Rain but Billy and the rest are utilitarian. Suddenly everybody wakes up for an x-factor They Love Each Other, and The Race Is On fo sho. Row Jimmy is a nice, punchy version and Donna is great. A toss-off to some, Jer knew where to get a piece of this El Paso. Bird Song was moving toward its ultimate arrangement. Check Billy getting a tiny solo. The tinkly atmosphere of the set favors this version, for one of the year's best. Man the interplay is good on Playin'. Is this one of the longest ones? I know there's another 18 minute one at the end of e72, and of course the '74 Seattle and the NYE '76. The beginning of the jam is the best part - the tempo at the beginning isn't held down by Billy.
Second Set. Eyes is understated, clunky in places, and takes a long time to really get somewhere; but they stretch it out to make sure inspiration has a chance to foment. The results are unique - in places - but this one won't please everybody. They're still hitting the verses 8 minutes in. Stella is staid and lethargic for '73 but it's like Jer saved up for Big River and Keith's great too. There are so many great versions of Here Comes Sunshine in '73, otherwise this would rank. All stops are pulled from the wheels for Around & Around and a major Dark Star follows (close enough to NYC to be a Dawk Staw?) @ 26 minutes, with a big Phil jam 8 min in - though he's on independent study. The resolving @ 13:40 is priceless. Parts are great, parts aren't. He's Gone is a 14 1/2 min version, but underplayed and sleepy until the very end. Next is a derailed...Wharf Rat? What are these two dirges doing back to back? It doesn't completely fall apart but sloppy Jer has been weak link the whole show. However, Jer's rhythm-based day yields crashing chords that favor Truckin'. Bobby's great on Sugar Magnolia - but hard to hear by this point so you may want to try the Dusborne matrix - and Jer's strat tone pays my ticket when I sneeze.
Third Set. This is mostly super-jam-with-guests stuff and comes off well, mostly, and unique. If you're an Allmans fan the recognizable style will be more interesting. Betts is best on Goin' Down the Road, trading licks. But by the final Not Fade, ouch! Bobby just scared every cat in the Columbia District.
They Love Each Other - Jer fires the band
The Race Is On - pat
El Paso - played beautifully much of '73
Bird Song - an in-between arrangement with mucho detail
Big River - Jer breaks out
Around & Around - ends different than expected
Truckin' - raved up
Sugar Magnolia - Bobby takes full charge
SOURCES: The miller.tobin compiles the best sources with all patches intact. Takes a Lot to Laugh/Train to Cry is on Postcards of the Hanging.
March 10, 2015 Subject:
That’s all right, Mama….yes it is!
This show obviously has its place in the large catalog of top-echelon shows, so I will not pour more superlatives on-top-of what is already a sweet trail of reviews. But I must note….
“That’s all right, Mama” –kicks the socks off my feet and tires my bones with exhaustive energy, keep it rolling boys!
January 6, 2014 Subject:
in the beginning...
My first shows... RFK '73. Right from N.J. high school graduation to the front row at the School of HIGHER learning...those 2 days changed EVERYTHING... Parents were pissed! Traded 2 soccer scholarships for a ride on the Gray Rabbit to Good Ole' Grateful Deadland...and the music still has never stopped. No regrets. Best freakin move I ever made.Love my Santa Cruz.Do miss my Jerry...
December 9, 2013 Subject:
"The Longest Day"
Dew, symbol splash opens the show beautifully. Things are a tad sloppy but interesting and definitely psychedelic. It's a bit slow, but for the opener, that's ok.
Ramble On picks up some intensity, despite it's slow pace.
Jack Straw is a perfect summer song, and in this gigantic stadium, fitting. Nice Bob tone in rhythm.
Wave that Flag, this one gets fired up, appropriately so in our nation's capital. Strong solo before the final verse.
Box, I actually felt like Garcia was holding the band back on this one, he really phoned in the solo.
TLEO has its funky little groove of the era. Jerry checks back into the show for the song he really liked, and the energy/feel goes up nicely.
Race is On gets the horsepower in a nice place, and we have a winner.
Row Jimmy is performed well, nothing to write home about.
El Paso is fun and well played.
Bird Song. Pretty good version here. Keith puts in some great work after the 2nd verse that isn't to be missed. He's more in the lead in some regards.
PITB to close the set, a la 1972. The playing within the playing is superb. Jerry, not bursting with noodles on this day, up till now, sets in the wah wah and goes for it. Billy pushes, and Phil does his PITB dance rhythm behind it all. Powerful finale to close out the set.
Eyes>Stella opens up the middle child set. This is really the set we'd normally get here, clearly. I'll never complain about an Eyes of the World in any setlist position whatsoever. This one goes into the goods early and never looks back. Definite groover here. The last jam has hints of Slipknot in it, as they typically do. From there it heads into a straight blues groove while the decide where to go next.
Stella makes her way out of the groove welcomely.
Big River just doesn't lose in this era.
HC Sunshine was nice, maintained the energy and power of the set.
Around x 2 rocks the house.
Dark Star starts of how we would expect. The pace starts accelerating as we approach 3 minutes, and we're exploring the universe. Just after 7 minutes Bobby gets his chance to shine with a solo, it's really odd. I won't say unenjoyable, just doesn't really do anything. Phil is behind him, and Billy, but Keith and Jerry must be getting a spoonful of love or something. They finally break out of that and there's almost an TOO quality to the jam, still Phil and Billy heavy. Verse comes after the 14 minute mark. The jam after the verse goes straight to exploratory and begins a flirtation with space, and a Tiger seems to be lurking in the distance, where it remains. It's actually really creepy sometimes. It's not called Light Star. Just when you think it's safe to go into the Jungle, the Tiger runs by again. It makes several passes, but never eats your face off.
It goes into the double ballad, as I consider Gone a ballad. A risky call, or move, or whatever. Gone drags a bit, the comes to almost a complete stop for vocals. Boring. After three minutes of that I was hoping for a nice explosive re-entry into the actual music, no such luck. It does pick up after about 13 minutes and finishes strong as it heads into Wharf Rat with a beautiful transition! The Wharf Rat is powerful and maintains a great tempo, A+ version. Perhaps they just had to re-group during Gone or something.
They blast straight into Truckin from the silent end of Rat. Great, energetic version that ends the meat sequence. Strong rock n roll finale.
Sugar Mag, Bobby needed more Bobby rocker!
Train to Cry is largely bluesy, we have extra musicians out there from the Allman Brothers for this 3rd set. Echoing guitar solos, nice combo jams.
That's Alright Mama has a great tempo, and a nice jam period that stays very focused. Again guitarists take their turns with this one, though it is mainly an Allman Brothers showcase and basically is an ABB song with Jerry handling the few lyrics.
Promised Land sung by Bob.
NFA>GDTRFB>Drums>NFA, we start to get into some more focused jamming here, with Betts doing Blue Sky-ish riffs. He and Jerry start trading off again, unique stuff definitely worth the listen. The GDTRFB portion is where they've pretty much ironed it out, and the jamming sound in this song works well with the ABB typical jam sound. The jamming does venture into a bit of exploration shortly right before the drums get their moment in the spotlight.
JBG is screamed.
At 4.7 hours of playing, this may be their longest show ever, I haven't checked. The added bonus of the songs with the ABB is pretty cool. This has long been a favorite show of mine.
April 18, 2013 Subject:
a really gr8 show with some extraordinary moments.the lenghth of the show is awesome,as is the set lists.phil is strong which is nice.
April 5, 2013 Subject:
The patches=best copy
Tobin patches the Miller sb with aud. This, I believe, is the best source of this great show. BIODTL and GDTRFB sound much better now that they have been patched with crossfades from an audience. Thanks to all involved. I love this show.
This show is considered a classic, and in some ways it is. But I find it to be a bit inconsistent. Certainly it is worth a listen, if for no other reason than a truly beautiful Dark Star -> He's Gone. Very tasty.
Also, the encore with the Allman's is interesting, though it's not until NFA that they really start to gel. I'm not a huge NFA fan (I got kind of burnt out on it in the 80's), but this one is really a must have. I can hear "Blue Sky" type jamming all through it as Jerry and Dickie start to figure out the twin lead thing.
April 13, 2010 Subject:
This is a slight imprvoement over the prev sbd, as always us long time mid-'80's tour heads appreciate very much what CHarlie does. My buddies brother was at this show and talked about it all the time. For me, anyime you get Dark Star, Eyes and HCS in one night it;s a great show. The jam for the third set went off real well, one of the few times guests actually fit in with the band and the sparks flew. I was at the Kaiser ';86 chinese new years / mardi gras/valentines shows - which were unreal. the neviless fit in pretty well also I thought. Thi si s historic classic Dead, I enjoyed streaming it very much and recommend others do teh same. Great for winding down on a rainy evening and stream this puppy.
July 17, 2009 Subject:
add to yr collection
Hey Reatamus (and anyone else). You CAN add this to your collection. It's not difficult. email me at email@example.com and I'll tell you how....
December 4, 2008 Subject:
This is a great version. Phil comes through on morning dew like you were there. I wish I could add this to my collection!
September 20, 2008 Subject:
THE WHOLE PACKAGE!
Outstanding, Mr. Miller and Mr. Tobin!
Superb combined effort here ... the music sounds great and the result of this show mixed with the crowd and stage banter completes the experience.